Skip site chaos leads to £16,000 financial headache for council
The decision to reduce opening hours at skip centres throughout Angus in a bid to keep all seven centres open has led to frustration, tailbacks and chaotic scenes for residents. However, it has also left council chiefs with a financial headache.
Councillors were told waste bosses had to introduce extended hours to cope with demand – a move which cost the authority £16,000.
Initially, the reduction in hours proved manageable, although it was noted the recycling centres were busier due to the same amount of traffic visiting within a restricted time.
A report to the full council noted that as the garden waste season got under way, the volume of traffic increased significantly, and some of the recycling centres had great difficulty coping with demand.
This led to extensive queues at opening times, sites being closed more frequently to empty containers, and sites closing early at weekends because there were insufficient resources to service them.
Photographs of tailbacks from recycling centres which at times stretched along nearby roads appeared across social media, with complaints from elected members that the recycling regime was failing.
The issue placed an enormous strain on recycling centre staff who struggled to manage the congestion at the same time as fulfilling their normal duties, leaving senior council officers to make an operational decision to introduce an additional two hours of opening at all centres except Arbroath – on health and safety grounds.
The decision brought with it a bill for £16,000, which was questioned by SNP deputy leader, councillor Bill Duff, who noted that the decision to retain all seven sites had already cost £82,000 from uncommitted reserves.
He also asked if the member/ officer group which had previously examined the issue would resume over the summer.
Council officers said they would respond to his questions in due course.